We recently wrote about how avoiding five specific bad habits can significantly extend your life. Now, a new meta-analysis published in The BMJ adds further weight to the argument for eating less salt and being healthier. According to the meta-analysis of 133 clinically randomised trials, lowering salt intake reduces blood pressure – even in individuals who are not yet at risk of hypertension-related conditions. This is important because heart disease is the number one global killer and high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease. Furthermore, hypertension is also the leading cause of stroke, heart failure and kidney disease, highlighting how potentially beneficial a low slat diet could be for many people. Interestingly, the research found that the greater the reduction in salt intake, the greater the benefit to blood pressure. At present, U.S. government guidelines advise Americans to not consume more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of salt per day as part of a healthy eating pattern. However, the vast majority of U.S. adults are eating more sodium than they should -- average of more than 3,400 mg each day. One of the biggest problems is the amount of salt that is contained in manufactured foods, which is usually added to enhance flavour, texture and colour, as well as improve longevity. So even if you don’t reach for the salt shaker at every mealtime, you could still be consuming too much. It’s good to get into the habit of checking the foods you buy to see how much they all contain. After all, just a small reduction could significantly improve your health and reduce your risk of early mortality. Speaking about the findings of the research, lead author Feng He, a researcher at Queen Mary University of London, said: “The totality of evidence in the JACC review and this latest BMJ research shows that reducing our salt intake will be immensely beneficial.”
Children whose parents divorce are more likely to get fat than their peers whose parents stay together, new research has revealed. According to the study by researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science, children whose parents divorce before they are six are particularly impacted. For the study, the researchers analysed data collected by the UK Millennium Cohort Study on 7,574 children born between 2000 and 2002. Of the children involved, 1,573 (around one in five) had witnessed their parents divorce by the time they were 11. These kids gained more weight in the 24-month period following their parents’ divorce than their peers whose parents remained together. Furthermore, the kids whose parents had divorced were also more likely to become overweight or obese within 36 months of their parents separating. The authors of the paper say their findings underline how much of an impact a divorce can have on children and that parental separation is “a process with potentially long-lasting consequences”. As a result, the authors are calling for more health help and support to be given to families going through a break-up. The paper also offers some reasons why children put on weight following a divorce, namely: There’s often less money in separated households for fresh fruit and vegetables Parents having to work longer hours, so there’s less time to prepare nutritious food There’s often less money for extra-curricular activities, including sport Parents with less time and energy to promote healthy eating habits in their children Emotional problems leading to parents overfeeding their children and kids eating too much sugary and fatty food
The New Year is here and for many that means attempting to stick to one or a bunch of resolutions. Eating more healthily, doing more exercise and quitting smoking will be at the top of the list for many people. If one of your goals for 2019 is eating more healthily, perhaps you should consider following a Mediterranean diet. While it varies depending on where you go, a Mediterranean diet, in a nutshell, is one that incorporates all of the healthy eating habits of people who live in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain - so more vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, grains, cereals, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. And less meat and dairy foods. As well as being linked with better health, including a healthier heart, a Mediterranean diet also promotes healthy brain aging, according to new research. A recent study involving 116 healthy adults aged 65–75 years, conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, found that participants who ate a Mediterranean diet performed better in memory, general intelligence, and executive function tests. “Our study suggests that diet and nutrition moderate the association between network efficiency and cognitive performance,” said Aron Barbey, a psychology professor at The University of Illinois.
As part of a new obesity drive, Public Health England is telling people in the UK to “get on a diet” and wants to cut portion sizes of some of the nation’s most popular foods. Pizzas, ready meals, takeaways and processed meat will all be targeted as part of the initiative to cut calorie consumption by 20% by 2024. In addition, the government agency has called on the food industry to start using healthier ingredients and encourage people to choose lower calorie foods. The drive to eat healthier will not only improve the health of the nation, but also reduce the burden on the NHS associated with obesity-related illnesses. Public Health England says the cost per year of obesity to the NHS is £6 billion. Combined with the sugar reduction programme that came into effect last year and the sugary drinks levy which comes into force next month, this new initiative will also help reduce the number of calories consumed by children in the UK. Talking about the new steps, Public Heath England chief executive Duncan Selbie said: "Britain needs to go on a diet. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories, and it's why so many are overweight or obese." Food manufacturers, supermarkets, takeaways and fast-food outlets have all been told they need to reduce the calories in the foods such as crisps and savoury snacks, cooking sauces and dressings, ready meals and takeaways, and food-to-go like sandwiches. If these companies do not listen to PHE, the agency said it would be willing to ask the government to legislate. Guidelines suggest that women eat no more than 2,000 calories a day, while men should limit themselves to 2,500.
People who eat browned toast, chips and potatoes could be increasing their risk of cancer, according to the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). That's because the chemical acrylamide - which is known to be toxic to DNA and cause cancer in animals - is produced when starchy foods are roasted, fried or grilled for too long at high temperatures. For example, when bread is warmed to make toast the sugar, amino acids and water present in it combine to create colour and acrylamide. The darker the colour of the toast, the more acrylamide is present. The FSA admits that it does not know exactly how much acrylamide can be tolerated by people, but it does believe we are all eating too much of it. As a result, the FSA has launched a new campaign advising people to make some small changes to the way they prepare and cook food: Always aim for a golden yellow colour when toasting, frying, baking, or roasting starchy foods like potatoes, bread and root vegetables Store raw potatoes in a cool, dark place above 6C and not in the fridge. Carefully follow cooking instructions when heating oven chips, pizzas, roast potatoes and parsnips Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet which includes five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, as well as starchy carbohydrates In addition to the campaign, the FSA is also working with the food industry to reduce the amount of acrylamide found in processed food. Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said most people were not aware that acrylamide even existed. "We want our campaign to highlight the issue so that consumers know how to make the small changes that may reduce their acrylamide consumption whilst still eating plenty of starchy carbohydrates and vegetables as recommended in government healthy eating advice."
Last year, at the International Medical Travel Journal's (IMTJ) annual awards ceremony, France Surgery was named ‘Medical Travel Agency of the Year 2015’. It was a huge honour for us and fantastic recognition for all the hard work we've been doing over the years to help people benefit from the world-class healthcare facilities in France. And now it's with great pleasure that we can announce that France Surgery has once again been nominated for an award at the IMTJ's awards dinner and ceremony on May 24th 2016 in Madrid. This year, France Surgery is being recognised for its unique recovery offer and that has seen us become finalists in the 'Best Marketing Initiative' category. Introducing... De-Light concept at the Sofitel Quiberon Diététique. Image credit: Sofitel Quiberon Diététique- © Eric Cuvillier et STramier Nestled opposite Belle-Ile-en-Mer Island in beautiful Brittany, Sofitel Quiberon Diététique features a unique combination of treatments delivered in a pioneering Thalassotherapy Institute, which is world-renowned for its specialised gourmet diet cuisine. Being the only five-star hotel in France totally dedicated to slimming, this resort offers treatment programs for every type of weight loss project, combining a large range of expertise, innovative treatments and state-of-the-art techniques. At Le Delight restaurant, Head Chef Patrick Jarno, the expert of diet gastronomy, creates sensory, gourmet, yet light dishes. Working with a team of dietitians, he has spent over 30 years proving that healthy eating can be truly delicious and satisfying. Surrounded by care and attention, you will discover a totally unique approach: the 5Ps of slimming: The Pleasure of a sensory and gourmet gastronomy Personalised support The Preventive and curative properties of seawater Predictive care through tests and check-ups in order to better take care of your vitality, sleep and beauty A Participative stay to take control of your weight loss and overall health Wait no more and join us for a wonderful voyage to a peaceful peninsula; hugged by wild beaches and the Atlantic Ocean, where you can detox and tone your body with personalised treatments and support.
Gastric surgery is used to treat people who are dangerously obese. The procedures available to aid weight loss in obese people are only used as a last resort and should not be considered to be an ‘easy option’ to weight loss. Gastric surgery is increasing in popularity with more people becoming unable to control their weight gain with routine exercise and healthy eating. There are 2 procedures which are most commonly performed in France: Gastric band This procedure uses surgery to place a band directly onto the stomach to reduce the size and in turn the amount of food that can fit inside the stomach. This makes the patient feel full and stop eating sooner. Gastric bypass This is a more complex procedure which involves re-routing the digestive system so that the majority of the stomach is bypassed. Again a patient feels full quicker and so eats less. Both procedures are very effective in reducing weight in France but should not be used in isolation. The medical team will want to ensure that the patient is willing to make the necessary changes to keep the weight off, including diet and lifestyle changes. If a patient is committed to these changes then gastric surgery is a fantastic option and what better place to recover than in the French climate. Photo Credit: © aihumnoi - Fotolia.com